On Why Chipotle Should Strive for B Corp Certification

By Julian Gill

Chipotle should consider pursuing B Corp certification. The Colorado-founded, Mexican-inspired, quick-service restaurant chain has been a pioneer in modern dining for the last 25 years, earning loyal patrons across all demographics, especially younger consumer segments. Rather than be content to follow industry trends, Chipotle and its founder Steve Ells have a history of blazing the trail for others to follow, essentially forging the fast-casual segment. This pioneering includes a tradition of sourcing only exceptional ingredients through responsible partners, all in an effort to serve customers “features from the realm of fine dining to the world of quick-service restaurants.” Since 2015, however, the company’s been preoccupied seeking solutions to diffuse negative attention and regain customer trust that’s eroded due to numerous reports of food-safety issues. Combine that negative press with known trends of younger consumers becoming more astute consumers, and it becomes obvious that the company has an uphill battle to earning back trust. The publicly-traded company’s current brand campaign, Food with Integrity, emphasizes Chipotle’s commitment…

On Why Chipotle Should Strive for B Corp Certification“To sourcing the very best ingredients we can find and preparing them by hand. To vegetables grown in healthy soil, and pork from pigs allowed to freely root and roam outdoors or in deeply bedded barns. We’re committed because we understand the connection between how food is raised and prepared, and how it tastes. We do it for farmers animals the environment dentists crane operators ribbon dancers magicians cartographers and you. With every burrito we roll or bowl we fill, we’re working to cultivate a better world.”

This sort of message would earn most brands praise from customers and peers, but Chipotle’s recent track record adds skepticism to customer perception (though the health risks are arguably statistically insignificant from a food-safety perspective considering the high volume of sales). And for that, Chipotle’s message to customers requires a tangible accountability – a recognizable and industry-accepted certification – that they as a company cannot currently independently institute, due to their lacking customer trust. At present, the company only has a fiduciary duty to investors. To give credence to their claim of commitment to “cultivate a better world”, Chipotle should consider adding ‘B Corp Certification’ as its 52nd ingredient. For Real.


About CoPeace

CoPeace is a first-of-its-kind impact holding company. As a pending Certified B Corp itself, CoPeace is pursuing B Corp status because the founders believe in the mission, impact, and capital influence that having such a certification brings to the world of commerce. This model allows the CoPeace team to craft a portfolio of companies working towards complementary missions in any given social or environmental subsector, and ultimately to amplify its collective impact output.

Julian Gill formerly worked with CoPeace in business development. As a forward-thinking holding company, CoPeace is building a portfolio of carefully selected for-profit companies with measurable social and environmental impact. To learn more about impact investing, check out CoPeace’s Intro to Impact Investing.